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Good Reads  Natural History  Biography, Exploration & Travel

An Exquisite Legacy The Life and Work of New Zealand Naturalist G.V. Hudson

Biography / Memoir
By: George W Gibbs(Author), Courtney Johnston(Foreword By)
152 pages, colour illustrations
An Exquisite Legacy
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  • An Exquisite Legacy ISBN: 9781988550176 Hardback Oct 2020 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 2-4 weeks
Price: £69.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

The biography of one of New Zealand's greatest naturalist-artists, G.V. Hudson. George Hudson, 1867-1946, was one of New Zealand's pioneer naturalists, who devoted his life to collecting and describing the New Zealand insect fauna. He amassed what is probably the largest collection of New Zealand insects, now housed at Te Papa. Hudson also wrote seven books on insect fauna between 1898 and 1946, each illustrated in colour with immaculate paintings of the specimens, a total of over 3100 paintings, mainly focused on moths and butterflies.

An Exquisite Legacy is a biography of Hudson, written by his grandson Dr George Gibbs, himself a prominent entomologist. Gibbs outlines the life of this naturalist and artist, whose dedication and output was truly remarkable. Hudson remained an amateur naturalist his whole life, but his contribution to our knowledge about the New Zealand insect world is of enduring significance, while his artistic legacy, built up over nearly seven decades, is truly remarkable. This extensive collection of exquisite illustrations is without parallel in New Zealand.

Beautifully illustrated throughout, this biography of George Hudson is the first chance for most people to see his exquisite artwork. Up until now, his books have been valuable collectors' items unavailable to most people. A foreword by Courtney Johnston, Chief Executive of Te Papa Tongarewa, provided in recognition of the importance of this book, and the significance of the Hudson Collection at Te Papa.

Customer Reviews


Dr George Gibbs is a retired university teacher with a passion for New Zealand’s natural history. From a background of entomology, forged by his grandfather, G.V. Hudson, and fostered by his parents with their recreational interests in the mountains, George has pursued a career researching butterflies, moths, weta and, in particular, the evolutionary background of our fauna and flora. George is a graduate of Victoria University with a PhD from Sydney University. He has published four books on New Zealand insects, numerous scientific papers, and the now-classic volume on New Zealand biogeography, Ghosts of Gondwana (Potton & Burton, 2006, revised and expanded in 2016).

Biography / Memoir
By: George W Gibbs(Author), Courtney Johnston(Foreword By)
152 pages, colour illustrations
Media reviews

– Finalist in the 2021 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, Illustrated Non-Fiction Category

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